BCTGM Union Endorses Hillary Clinton, Cite Solid Record Of Supporting Working Families

Kensington, Md. — The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) has announced that it is endorsing Hillary Clinton for President of the United States.

The following statement was released by BCTGM International President David B. Durkee in declaring the union’s endorsement:

BCTGM CrestDuring her career, Hillary Clinton has had a solid record of support on those issues most important to working families and union members, including workers’ rights and  organizing, workplace health and safety, health care, progressive tax policy and retirement security.

 Further, we are confident that Secretary Clinton will continue to seek the input and counsel of the AFL-CIO and its affiliates in developing her policy positions and priorities for our country.

 The BCTGM also believes that Secretary Clinton’s enormous experience in foreign affairs will strengthen our nation and enhance the security of our citizens.

 While Donald Trump talks a good game on maintaining American jobs, his companies have a notorious history of outsourcing work to low-wage countries such as Mexico and China.

 Beyond his advocacy of policies that are against the interests of working people and organized labor, Donald Trump’s vile bigotry towards Latinos and other ethnic groups is deplorable and antithetical to the principles and values upon which this Union was built and to which we will always adhere.

Today, following the endorsement of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), Hillary Clinton issued the following statement:

“Members of the BCTGM don’t just help feed America—they helped build the greatest middle class in history.

“Members of the BCTGM know, as I do, that we are stronger together, when we are investing in our people and in the future. That’s why I have a comprehensive manufacturing agenda to create good-paying jobs and spur new industries—because we can and we will “make it in America.” I was honored to meet with BCTGM members in Chicago earlier this year who had been trying to work with Nabisco to keep good-paying jobs in America. For years, Nabisco had received tax breaks and investments from the people of Chicago and the people of Illinois to expand production—only to turn their backs on their workers and on the community by announcing plans to shut down the long-standing factory and move production to Mexico. That’s wrong. And that’s why I have called for creating a “clawback”—if a company turns its back on America, they should have to pay back every penny of the tax breaks they have received, and we’ll use that money to reinvest in affected workers and communities.

“I am honored to have earned the endorsement of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union.

AFLCIO Announces Support Of BCTGM Boycott Of Mexican-Made Nabisco Products

Campaign encourages Americans to “Check the Label” in support of American jobs by purchasing only those Nabisco products made in America

 SocialMedia_BoycottSimpleKENSINGTON, Md., April 27, 2016 – Today, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) – which represents nearly 4,000 members at Mondelēz International, maker of Nabisco snack products – announced that the national AFL-CIO has officially endorsed its nationwide consumer boycott of Nabisco snack products made in Mexico.

The “Check the Label” campaign was launched to stop Nabisco/Mondelēz from continuing to outsource jobs, by urging American consumers to reject Mexican-made Nabisco products and, instead, buy those that are produced in America in support of middle-class American jobs.

The AFL-CIO’s endorsement is a watershed moment in BCTGM’s boycott movement, as it adds 12.5 million members in 56 affiliated national and international unions, as well as their families and their local and extended communities across the United States and the globe.

BCTGM International President David B. Durkee, stated, “BCTGM is proud to have the support of our 12.5 million Brothers and Sisters of the AFL-CIO who share our profound dismay that Nabisco/Mondelēz is asking American workers to give up 60 percent of their wages and benefits – amounting to $46 million per year in perpetuity – or have their jobs shipped to Mexico. The AFL-CIO’s backing sends the strongest signal yet that American workers and consumers will not stand idly by while Americans lose their jobs.  Most immediately, we believe that the endorsement lends substantial and sustainable support to our “Check the Label” campaign, aimed at supporting American jobs by ensuring consumers’ favorite Nabisco products are produced in America before purchasing.”

SocialMedia_3StepsBCTGM launched the “Check the Label” campaign after Nabisco/Mondelēz closed numerous U.S. production facilities, costing many hundreds of American jobs, while at the same time expanding production in its facilities in Monterrey and Salinas, Mexico, where pay is so low that the minimum wage is measured by the day, not the hour. BCTGM is sending teams of the laid-off workers around the country, focusing on large urban areas, to enhance support for the boycott and continue to expand its coalition.

The National contract between Mondelēz International and more than 2,000 of its 4,000 workers represented by the BCTGM, expired on February 29, 2016. BCTGM continues to be resolute in its commitment to securing a quality contract for its members – one that is in the very best interests of all members and their families today and into the future.

The full text of the AFL-CIO endorsement includes the following:

The AFL-CIO has approved your request to include Mondelēz International on the list of AFL-CIO national boycotts. Specifically, the boycott will apply to all Mondelēz International snack food products that are labeled “Made in Mexico,” including Oreos, Newtons, Chips Ahoy, Honey Grahams, Animal Crackers, Ritz Crackers, Premium, Belvita, Lorna Doane, Teddy Grahams, Honey Maid, and Wheat Thins.

In accordance with the policy on boycott endorsements adopted by the AFL-CIO Executive Council, the federation will maintain the “Made in Mexico” snack products of Mondelēz International on its published boycott list for up to one year from the date of endorsement unless your union requests an earlier termination of the listing. At the end of the year, you may request to have the company included on the list for another 12 months.

The AFL-CIO and the AFL-CIO Union Label and Service Trades Department will post this product line to the list on their websites and Union Label Letter publication.

For more information about the “Check the Label” campaign, please watch this informational video.



Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders to Visit Penford Products Union Members in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Image from AFGE

Bernie Sanders, image from AFGE

In a sign of solidarity, Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders will join BCTGM Local 100G members and supporters in an informational picket outside the Penford Products factory in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Friday, September 4th. Union members at the plant have been fighting for a fair new contract with Ingredion, Inc. which purchased the facility this spring.

Sanders is expected to join Local 100G members, labor supporters and community leaders outside the Penford plant at approximately 5:15 p.m. and deliver remarks shortly thereafter. The plant is located at 1001 First Avenue, S.W. in Cedar Rapids.

“Bernie Sanders has been a voice for working people all his life. He is a man who never gives up and who always makes decisions based on what is good and right for the average American. We are proud he has chosen to take time out of his extremely busy schedule to visit Local 100G members in Cedar Rapids,” says BCTGM International President David B. Durkee.

The informational picket outside the Penford plant is the second in a series of protests against Ingredion’s unfair contract proposals. The collective bargaining agreement covering approximately 160 union members at the plant expired on August 1. Workers at the plant continue to work under the terms of the expired pact while Union negotiators attempt to reach a fair new contract.

Union and company negotiators have held three negotiating sessions and the most recent talks came to a halt after company representatives delivered to the Union what it termed as its “last, best and final offer.” Ingredion negotiators have proposed more than 100 concessionary changes to the collective bargaining agreement.

The Penford site was opened in 1890 as the Douglas Starch Works and has employed generations of family members from the Cedar Rapids area. Ingredion, a multinational Corporation is headquartered in Westchester, Illinois.

5:00 p.m./Friday, September 4, 2015

Penford Products
1001 First Avenue, S.W. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

NLRB Charges Kellogg With Serious Violations Of Federal Law


Earlier today, the U.S. government charged the Kellogg Company with multiple and serious violations of federal law stemming from its October 22, 2013 lockout of more than 220 workers at the company’s Memphis cereal production facility.

In filing a Complaint against Kellogg based on charges filed by Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) Local 252G, the local representing the locked out members, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) – the official charged with prosecuting employers for violating the National Labor Relations Act – determined that the company’s conduct in the supplemental contract negotiations in Memphis that led to the lockout was in clear violation of the federal law governing labor and management relations in the U.S.

In the March 27 Complaint, the Board’s General Counsel validated the charges filed by BCTGM Local 252G. The Complaint outlines that, during the course of the negotiations that led to the lockout, Kellogg insisted that the union bargain on and agree to changes to a contract that was still in effect – a subject Kellogg had no right to insist on – and in so doing, “threatened to lockout employees” and “locked out all bargaining-unit employees . . .in support of its bargaining demands if the union did not ratify  [Kellogg’s] last contract offer before October 22, 2013.”  By doing that, the Complaint asserts, Kellogg “interfer[red] with, restrain[ed], and coerc[ed] employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in Section 7 of the Act”; “discriminat[ed] in regard to the hire or tenure or terms or conditions of employment of its employees” and “ fail[ed] and refus[ed] to bargain collectively  and in good faith with the exclusive collective-bargaining representative of its employees.”

Commenting on the NLRB ruling, BCTGM International Union President David B. Durkee stated, “The BCTGM commends the Board’s General Counsel on its action.  For more than five months, the locked out workers in Memphis have been victimized by a $14 billion multinational corporation so consumed by greed that it was willing to break U.S. law in order to get what it wanted from its workers.

“Today’s action by the Board’s General Counsel is the first step in validating all that the BCTGM and our locked out members have consistently said since the beginning of this tragic lock out – that the company violated the law by demanding to negotiate on subjects that are not legally proper for the Memphis negotiations.

“This decision also exposes the disingenuous and misleading public relations campaign Kellogg has been waging for the past five months in which it called on the Union to return to the bargaining table for negotiations.  As today’s Complaint alleges, Kellogg had broken the very law that governs the negotiations the company wanted the local union to resume.

“For more than 155 days and at a tremendous personal and financial cost, these courageous workers have remained steadfast in their belief in the rule of law.  Today, the National Labor Relations Board’s General Counsel struck the first loud blow for justice.

“All these workers have ever wanted, since the day they were locked out is to return to the jobs they have performed skillfully and with deep dedication for many, many years in order that they can provide for their families.

“The BCTGM urges the Kellogg Company to finally drop its disingenuous public relations campaign, accept its responsibility for breaking the law and end this tragic lockout and immediately return these hard-working men and women to their jobs so they can begin rebuilding their lives shattered by a once-honorable company that has lost its moral compass. This horrendous injustice has gone on far too long,” concludes Durkee.

The BCTGM represents more than 4,000 Kellogg employees throughout North America. The BCTGM also represents thousands more workers in the cereal industry at such companies as General Mills, Quaker Oats, and Ralcorp.

BCTGM Calls On Kellogg To Unlock The Gates, Let The Workers Go To Work!

KelloggsFactSheet_WebHead-550x204On Monday, October 28, BCTGM International Union President David B. Durkee issued the following statement regarding the lockout of BCTGM Local 252G members by Kellogg in Memphis, Tenn.:

“The work stoppage at Kellogg’s Memphis plant is not a strike by workers who are demanding more from the company.  Kellogg’s employees, most of whom have given decades of dedicated service to the company, want to work but have been locked out of their jobs by a company demanding that they take less.  Kellogg is a highly-profitable, $14 billion food company whose very success depends on middle-class families buying its products.  Yet in these negotiations with the Memphis local of the BCTGM, Kellogg’s demands – if they were ever accepted – would convert good, middle-class Memphis jobs to jobs for the working poor.

“Like so many companies that depend on American consumers to buy their products, Kellogg’s short-sighted demands, if successful, would continue the erosion of the middle class – the back bone of the Memphis and American economies.  Moreover, Kellogg has chosen to lock out its workers over issues that always have been a part of national – not local – negotiations. Kellogg’s lockout proposal, if adopted, would effectively replace every significant term negotiated in the national agreements – wages, hours, benefits and scheduling – and would make irrelevant the national agreement that the union entered into in good faith.

“Since this lockout began, the workers and the BCTGM have asked one simple question, ‘Why Memphis?’ We call on Kellogg to end this lockout, open the gates and let your workers, our members, go back to their middle-class jobs so they can continue supporting their families and producing high-quality cereal products for American families as they have for decades.”

Check out the  FACT SHEET on the lockout of Kellogg workers in Memphis!


Twinkies Are Coming Back, But Who Is Making Them?

TwinkieKensington, MD, July 12, 2013 – Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) President David B. Durkee issued the following statement in response to the impending re-entry by Hostess Brands, LLC into the snack cake market:

“This coming week, Hostess Brands, LLC is expected to re-enter the wholesale snack cake market. Despite the fanfare, the long-term viability of this effort is highly uncertain. Rather than hire professional, experienced bakers who have produced quality snack cakes in the company’s bakeries for decades, Hostess management has chosen instead to hire primarily workers with little or no experience in the demanding wholesale snack cake baking industry.

“The BCTGM has consistently stated our interest in working cooperatively and productively with the new owners of this company. We have always maintained that the experience, skill and professionalism of our members offer the new owners, who have no experience in the wholesale snack cake business, the best chance for long-term success in consistently putting out a quality product.

“Compare Hostess’ approach to that taken by the U.S. Baking Company, a 107-year old wholesale bread and cake company based in Portland, OR, which bought the former Hostess assets in the northwest. The company, with which the BCTGM has had a longstanding collective bargaining relationship, decided that the most effective way to achieve a seamless re-entry into the marketplace was to reopen the former Hostess bakery in Billings, MT with the professional bakers who knew the product and the bakery the best.

“The BCTGM and U.S. Baking recently negotiated a fair and equitable collective bargaining agreement and the bakery is up and running, producing high-quality products. In fact, the workers there are earning more in wages in the first year of the contract than they were when Hostess closed the bakery last year.

“Last year’s demise of Hostess was due in large measure to critical mistakes made by a series of management teams that simply did not have any meaningful experience in the wholesale bread and cake baking business. To avoid the same fate, the BCTGM encourages the two private equity firms that own Hostess Brands, LLC to change their approach and work with our Union and our members in a cooperative manner. This is their best hope for long-term success.

“As the process moves forward, the BCTGM remains committed to taking all appropriate and necessary steps to protect the rights of our members and all Hostess Brands workers.”

MAINE: Join Us For Personal Members Accounts Of What Happened To Take Down Twinkies

Hostess Strike BCTGM

Everyone is invited to a very special event in Portland Maine.

Event: Bakers and Bankers-Who Really Keeps the Dough?

Date: Wednesday, April 3rd. 7pm.

Location: University of Southern Maine, Portland, Maine. Wishcamper Center room #133

The workers of the Hostess plant in Biddeford, Maine will put their side of the story front and center this coming Wednesday.  Mike Hummell (a 14 year Hostess BCTGM worker from Lexena, KS) has graciously agreed to join the panel by the Southern Maine Labor Council to discuss the pension theft and how the company portrayed the issue in the media versus reality.

“I also hope to encourage people to be more active in confronting dishonest media reports. I will of course remind everyone of the role of Ayn Rand cultist Judge Drain while I’m at it.” Mike Hummell

Joining Hummell on the panel will be John Jordan, Business Manager for Bakers Union #334 along with Joe Piccone, Business Agent for Teamsters Local #340, the union representing the delivery drivers at Hostess. Having the Local representatives from both the Bakers and the Teamsters should give a good look at the events on the ground as they unfolded.

Rounding out the panel will be Biddeford City Councilor Richard Rhames, addressing both the impact the closing is having on Biddeford and the various tax breaks provided by the city to Hostess. How much did the people of Biddeford do for Hostess over the years? What exactly did they get to show for it when it was all said and done? Has the city been left hanging on any promises? Hopefully the City Councilor Rhames will be able to answer some of these questions.  Again, if you have questions, please put them in the comments on the Facebook event page.

This will be a discussion of the direct effects on the city of Biddeford. The other speakers will tell the story from their unique local perspectives.
(RSVP To the event via FACBOOK)

You can read about the Biddeford, Mike and the plant in this article. http://www.pressherald.com/…It gives a grim view of the prospects for former employees.

The bakery union representing former Hostess workers has objected to the planned sale of the bread brands to Flowers, saying the bid offers no assurances that former labor contracts would be honored.The Industry International Pension Fund also is objecting to the sale.

In a court filing on Feb. 25, the bakery union and pension fund said, “Flowers has not committed to preserve a single job, and in fact has affirmatively disclaimed any obligation even to ‘consider’ employing a single worker.

“Thus, while debtors’ secured lenders may view Flowers’ bids as the ‘best’ for getting themselves paid, Flowers’ bids provide zero assurances that the rights of the debtors’ workers will be protected,” the filing said.

If you are a Portland, Maine, please join us for a discussion of the real life effects of our hedge fund economy. Or as Fox News would say- “Union thugs gang up and steal Twinkies from babies!”

Catch up with the pension theft here. http://www.dailykos.com/…

You can also see what really happened to Hostess in the video, from Mike Hummell.  It is very different than what the mainstream media may have told.

Teamsters Make Statement About BCTGM And Hostess Working To Save 18,500 Jobs

Official Statement of Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall made the following statement regarding the announcement that Hostess Brands Inc. and the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Millers International Union will enter into mediation led by bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain:

“Today’s development is a positive step toward finding a solution that will keep 18,500 men and women employed at Hostess. We are hopeful that the bakers’ union and the management team can find common ground during this mediation and avert liquidation.

“It is in the best interest of all parties involved that we remember what is at stake – the future of 18,500 workers and their families. This is not only about a brand or a product, it is also about real people that just want to work hard every day to provide for their families.

“The Teamsters will closely monitor the mediation between the BCTGM and Hostess management and assist in any way we can to help the two sides reach an agreement that keeps the company’s doors open.”

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visitwww.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.


The following statement was issued by BCTGM International Union President Frank Hurt in response to the announcement by Hostess Brands that it would begin liquidation.

“Hostess’s announcement that it is liquidating the company is a deep disappointment for all of our Hostess members.  While Hostess management wants to blame our members for the demise of the company, the truth is that had it not been for the valiant efforts of our members over the last eight years, including accepting significant wage and benefit concessions after the first bankruptcy, this company would have gone out of business long ago.

“Hostess failed because its six management teams over the last eight years were unable to make it a profitable, successful business enterprise. Despite a commitment from the company after the first bankruptcy that the resources derived from the workers’ concessions would be plowed back into the company, this never materialized. Management refused to invest in modernizing its bakeries or devote necessary resources to advertising and marketing, product development and new technology.  Business plan after business plan failed, leaving the company ever deeper in debt.

“When a highly-respected financial consultant, hired by Hostess, determined earlier this year that the company’s business plan to exit bankruptcy was guaranteed to fail because it left the company with unsustainable debt levels, our members knew that the massive wage and benefit concessions the company was demanding would go straight to Wall Street investors and not back into the company.

“Our members were aware that while the company was descending into bankruptcy and demanding deep concessions, the top ten executives of the company were rewarding themselves with lavish compensation increases, with the then CEO receiving a 300 percent increase.

“Our members decided they were not going to take any more abuse from a company they have given so much to for so many years.  They decided that they were not going to agree to another round of outrageous wage and benefit cuts and give up their pension only to see yet another management team fail and Wall Street vulture capitalists and “restructuring specialists” walk away with untold millions of dollars.

“Throughout this long and difficult process, BCTGM members showed tremendous courage, solidarity and devotion to principle.  They were well aware of the potential consequences of their actions but stood strong for dignity, justice and respect.”

The BCTGM represents more than 80,000 workers in the baking, food processing, grain milling and tobacco industries in the United States and Canada.



The following statement was issued by BCTGM International Union President Frank Hurt in response to claims by Hostess Brands that it would begin liquidation should union members not end the strike and return immediately to production facilities:

“The crisis facing Hostess Brands is the result of nearly a decade of financial and operational mismanagement that resulted in two bankruptcies, mountains of debt, declining sales and lost market share.  The Wall Street investors who took over the company after the last bankruptcy attempted to resolve the mess by attacking the company’s most valuable asset – its workers.

“They sought to force the workers, who had already taken significant wage and benefit cuts, to absorb even greater cuts including the loss of their pension contributions. I have said consistently throughout this process that the BCTGM is a highly democratic organization and that our Hostess members themselves would determine their future. By an overwhelming majority, 92 percent, these workers rejected the company’s outrageous proposal, fully aware of the potential consequences.

“Our members know that the plans all along of the Wall Street investors currently in control of this company did not include the operation of Hostess Brands any longer than it takes to sell the company in whole – or in part – in a way that will maximize the profits of these vulture capitalists regardless of the impact on the workforce.

“The wholesale bread and cake baking business is unique.  The most successful and profitable wholesale baking companies share common attributes, most notably being executive leadership with extensive background in the business and a skilled and dedicated workforce.  Hostess Brands and its predecessor companies have had the latter for decades.

“Unfortunately however, for the past eight years management of the company has been in the hands of Wall Street investors, “restructuring experts”, third-tier managers from other non-baking food companies and currently a “liquidation specialist”.  Six CEO’s in eight years, none of whom with any bread and cake baking industry experience, was the prescription for failure.

“Despite Greg Rayburn’s insulting and disingenuous statements of the last several months, the truth is that Hostess workers and their Union have absolutely no responsibility for the failure of this company.  That responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of the company’s decision makers.

“I am sure that our members would be agreeable to return to work as soon as the company rescinds the implementation of the horrendous wage and benefit reductions, including pension, and the restoration of the cuts that have already taken place.”


A total of 24 Hostess production facilities are on strike or honoring the strike with picket lines established by striking Hostess workers at other BCTGM-represented facilities.  Additionally, BCTGM members at one transport facility also are on strike.  Company claims that union members are crossing picket lines and maintaining production at striking plants are vastly untrue.

Over the past 15 months, Hostess workers have seen the company unilaterally end contractually-obligated payments to their pension plan.  These workers, many of whom have worked at Hostess and its predecessor companies for decades, struck in response to the company’s unilateral imposition of an unacceptable contract that was rejected by 92 percent of the union’s Hostess members in September.

While the company was demanding major concessions from union workers (wage and benefit cuts amounting to 27- 32% overall), the top ten executives of the company rewarded themselves with compensation increases, with one executive receiving a 300 percent increase.

The BCTGM represents more than 80,000 workers in the baking, food processing, grain milling and tobacco industries in the United States and Canada.

Follow the BCTGM:

Web: www.bctgm.org

Facebook: http://facebook.com/BCTGM

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BCTGM



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